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Effect of multi-walled carbon nanotubes with different diameters on morphology and thermal and mechanical properties of flexible polyurethane foams
Cellular Polymers  (IF2.053),  Pub Date : 2021-05-13, DOI: 10.1177/02624893211017284
Fukai Yang, Miao Xie, Zhang Yudi, Xinyu Xu

We report flexible polyurethane foams (PUFs) containing –OH functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) with different diameters (10–20 nm, 20–30 nm, >50 nm) from 0.1–0.6 wt% (per 100 resins of polyol by weight) prepared via in situ polymerization. After synthesis, the morphology of the MWCNT/PUF composites was observed through scanning electron microscopy (SEM) based on MWCNT amount. The MWCNTs acted as nucleating agents and increased the matrix viscosity. The pore size of the composites decreased and the number of pores increased with increasing MWCNT concentration. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) showed that the storage modulus of the composites increased, the loss modulus decreased, and the Tg gradually decreased with increasing MWCNT content. The incorporation of MWCNTs induced remarkable thermal stabilization of the matrix. The increase in the degradation temperature from 294°C to 304°C resulted in a 50% weight loss. The mechanical properties of the MWCNT/PUF materials increased with increasing MWCNT proportion because of the excellent compatibility and strong interface interaction between the MWCNT and flexible PUF.